John Bolton (here in 2020 in North Carolina) was White House National Security Advisor from 2018-2019
Photo: JONATHAN DRAKE / REUTERS
A member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard has been charged in the United States with a plot to assassinate former US President Donald Trump's security adviser, John Bolton.
The 45-year-old man from Tehran is accused of ordering an assassination and promising $300,000 as a reward.
This was announced by the Ministry of Justice on Wednesday.
According to the ministry, the Iranian is at large abroad.
The exact whereabouts are not known.
Prosecutors believe the plan was in retaliation for an attack in January 2020 that killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani.
Nothing is known about an attack on Bolton, who is now 73 years old.
The diplomat served under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush in the Justice and State Departments.
In April 2018, he became Trump's national security adviser.
However, Bolton quickly came into conflict with the then President.
He retired from government in September 2019.
"This is not the first time we have uncovered Iranian revenge plots against people on American soil, and we will work tirelessly to uncover and thwart each and every one of these attempts," said Deputy Attorney General Matthew Olsen.
If the man is caught and convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison for the plans and another 15 years for the promised payment.
This is how Iran reacts
Iran denied the allegations.
"Iran strongly warns against any action against Iranian citizens under the pretext of these ridiculous and baseless allegations," Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said, according to Iranian media.
Bolton, in turn, thanked the Justice Department and the FBI.
A statement said: "The Iranian authorities are liars, terrorists and enemies of the United States.
Their radical, anti-American aims are unchanged;
their promises are worthless.” Iran is increasingly becoming a global threat.
Bolton has vehemently opposed reviving the Iran nuclear deal.
US President Joe Biden is aiming for that.
Trump had unilaterally terminated the agreement.
Biden's National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan warned, "Should Iran attack any of our citizens, including those who continue to serve or have previously served the United States, Iran will face serious consequences."